Review: Seven Blades in Black

Review: Seven Blades in Black

Book: Seven Blades in Black (The Grave of Empires #1)
Author: Sam Sykes


Sam Sykes returns with a new fantasy that introduces to an unforgettable outcast magician caught between two warring empires.

Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare. The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on. But vengeance is a flame swift extinguished. Betrayed by those she trusted most, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal the Cacophony has one last tale to tell before they take her head. All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both.

Vengeance is its own reward.

My Review:

More and more often, I find myself trusting my fiancé to pick out books for me to read. This was one of those times.

I don’t normally pick up reads this long, but I’m definitely glad I didn’t let this one pass me by! As someone who played Final Fantasy a ton as a teenager, this scratched an itch I didn’t even realize I had.

Everything I read about this story leading up to when I actually read it myself kept talking about how it’s a love letter to Final Fantasy and that’s honestly the best way to describe the world of Seven Blades in Black. The entire book felt like I was playing a video game, and was more immersive than most of the fantasy I’ve read. Usually I avoid high fantasy like the plague because the bits I’ve been exposed to tend to drag when it comes to the world building. That was not the case with this one. The world building was seamless, and at no point did I feel like the writer was just dumping information on me. That might have been due to the fact that the majority of the story was the main character telling someone else her adventures, but it really felt natural. The story had an intimate feel I don’t come across often in this genre.

I’m pretty sure Sal the Cacophony has taken up her rightful place as my favorite female lead I’ve read in a very long time. She’s a bad-ass antihero and more complex than I was expecting her to be. It’s not often we get female anti-heroes written with the same complexity we get for the male ones, and for that alone Sam Sykes deserves all the awards. Honestly, this book is a must read for people tired of the same old in fantasy. The world is dynamic, the magic system new an interesting, and the cast is diverse and a breath of fresh air. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in fantasy and then some.

Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next one. But, if you’re like me and tend to avoid series, you can still pick this one up. The story is complete in its own way, and while there’s a sense of more to come, it’s so satisfying an ending that I’m not upset I need to wait an indefinite amount of time before the next one.

Rating: 5/5

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.